The first one won’t be necessary.
LOL I’m kidding. Look, I’m on Mike’s “team”, let me have a little fun. WarGames isn’t fun, I would know. Last of my team in back-to-back years but also not the winner. What does that feel like?
Oh, I’ll tell you.
Like getting kicked out first.
Or not even making the match.
Watching from the sidelines, knowing you were the last line of hope for the good guys but yet the player who failed everyone else’s hard work to get me there.
And here we are again.
Can’t wait to be the last surviving member, only to be pinned by the World Champion.
Wait, I could always lose immediately this year. Be the first one out. Or the middle. Yeah, out in the middle. Totally forgotten.
When I run those thoughts in my head…
It’s like I don’t even care.
Big, giant MEH.
‘Cause fuck WarGames.
Fuck the Best Alliance.
But above all else, fuck High Octane Wrestling.
The joke I made at the start of my rant, trying to “be like Mike” by saying the first one doesn’t matter… lEt mE hAvE a LiTTlE FuN…
Maybe I should’ve chosen my words better because I’m not having fun. This shit is stupid, every last bit of it. Down to the effort and energy I have to expel, with no promises I even make it through WarGames.
Get kicked out last. Middle. Or early.
No fucks given.
Conor Fuse has changed. I’m an indifferent gamer full of limp dick energy.
Wanna know why?
Don’t have to twist my arm…
— — — — —
HOW is rigged but not in the way others will tell you. I’m not talking about wins and losses here. I’m Conor Fuse. My HOW record over these past two years speaks for itself. I still haven’t been pinned in singles action since Mike Best defeated me at Rumble at the Rock in 2021, I rarely lose (unless it’s tag team matches but who’s counting anyway) and I continue to be a main player.
This place isn’t even rigged by Lee Best. Hard one to understand since I’m coming off numerous tag team matches with zero percent chance to win. Lee wants to see anyone who isn’t on his team suffer. This is standard, typical wrestling garbage I knew would happen. Every promoter is biased. They’re morons. It’s what keeps the program endearing to its audience. On the bright side, there’s the potential to piss off the boss and ruin the guy’s abilities to tamper. So I’m not even trying to tell you this place is rigged by the leader. It’s par for the course.
What I am attempting to explain, however, is that High Octane Wrestling is rigged… of fun.
You hear me; I mean it. This game has no fun in it whatsoever. Not anymore. And it’s nobody’s fault. Hell, it’s my fault. I’m the one who doesn’t have answers. I can’t seem to get myself motivated.
This is on me and no one else.
HOW isn’t what it used to be.
Allow me the space to explain why and how everything on my end rides on the WarGames train. This is the chance I can steer the ship back. It’s where I can take my progress and find something substantial to latch onto.
But right now, at this very moment, I ain’t feeling shit.
Zip. Zero. Zilch.
There’s a saying: you’re free to accomplish anything when you’ve lost everything. Yet I don’t feel that way. Last year I lost the World Title but that isn’t everything. This year I lost my unbeaten streak but that, also, isn’t everything. Bobbie- errr Nettie has done a 180 and switched things around on me. I dunno if we’re actual friends or it’s superficial. Regardless, she isn’t everything.
You know what? If I could place my finger on EXACTLY what’s bothering me, maybe I’m not in this headspace. Perhaps it’s a collection of what I said above and then some.
Or maybe it’s the fact I’ve already beaten this game.
Yes. Two time World Champion. Held my own against every single wrestler that’s walked in and out of this system.
So tell me, dear gamer, honestly tell me…
WTF is there left for The Vintage to accomplish?
“You can win WarGames for the first time!” Is something I might hear a fan say. True. What’s that gonna do for me?
Nothing. I’m World Champion again. Key word is again. While a WarGames W is fresh, it doesn’t raise my status. I’ve plateaued. Win or lose, out early or stay in late, my name has the same definition behind it. Out early, it’s an upset. Out late, it’s expected.
“You can avenge your past losses and walk out with the World Title, pissing Lee off and showing him he will NEVER be able to keep you down!”
That’s sarcasm BTW.
“You have to find what motivated you in the past and use it in the present!”
My response: what motivated me in the past was to beat this game.
And I did. x2
If I walked outta WarGames as champion, give it a year or two, it’s in the history books.
I guess what I’m saying is I need something MOAR.
No one continues to talk about the time I caved SRK’s skull in at Bottomline and won my first 97. The crowd doesn’t goes on and on and on about my roll through the Best Tournament at ICONIC later that year for 97 #2.
Nor should they.
It’s old news. The world, and wrestling in particular focus on: what have you done for me lately?
So let’s get down into the deep and uncover why I’m here, in the hopes of pulling me out, propping me up and winding me into Mexico, hell bent on chaos.
I hope it’s not too late.
Probably is, though.
— — — — —
March 20, 2023
Dearness Living Community
Boiler Room – The Prison Dungeon
“TAKE IT DOWN!”
Take it all fucking down, immediately.
Game Boy rips two prison bars off its hinges and easily tosses them to the side. Thank god I have him, he’ll tear this thing apart so quickly, I won’t be able to change my mind.
I ain’t gonna. This was a great experiment, I was only supposed to live here for a couple of weeks, then I made Stronk’s heart stop and decided this quaint adventure would continue. It grew and grew and grew. Suddenly, it blew up and was now about one-upping Steven Harrison, the guy who joined High Octane when I did. I punted him so hard, I doubt he’s ever coming back. Then it was to stay a little longer, go through the title tournament. Finally, it morphed into completing the campaign, win #97 back and make Christopher America an enemy forever.
This dungeon was never supposed to be about any of these things. It was only going to serve as an environment to find a different side of myself and avenge my previous losses at Rumble at the Rock.
Mission fucking accomplished.
I allowed myself to dream too big. It was wrong. Do not look past your goals, I was a fool to believe this prison would allow me to channel something further.
Game Boy rips off another four bars. By now, the cell barely looks like it housed a soul.
In-between High Octane events, I would return to this structure. Waste away inside my own head. It was torture at first… clueless on WTF to do. I didn’t bring anything in with me. I didn’t even sneak in a portal video game system.
I mean, I could have. I could’ve done whatever. No one was keeping me here against my will. I made this plan. Conor Fuse vs. Stronk Godson didn’t have additional incarceration stipulations added to it. I was free to live the life I wanted from outside bell-to-bell. But I remember Hughie Freeman yelled at me once, telling me how tough it was for him to be locked inside a prison for two straight weeks. Then he proceeded to beat me.
Is this Hughie’s fault? Fucking guy hasn’t stepped foot in a Lee Best ring for two years, I doubt a fan remembers his name.
Game Boy takes out more metal pillars.
Yeah, Conor, go head, blame a dude who hardly did Jack shit in HOW and hasn’t been around for a long time. That’ll really track with your campaign.
Well, regardless, here we are, title-less and no life-long feud to look forward to. You HAD TO take the strap off America, dude. You HAD TO.
It wasn’t to stop his reign or halt his progress. Go ahead, beat Mike’s outstanding achievement as the longest #97 in the history of this game. Doesn’t matter to me.
I needed to- I had to take the championship off him because I have been searching for the person I can have a longstanding battle with. A back and forth war. Not a one-off-and-move-on.
Been there, done that.
I’m so disappointed in myself.
Game Boy has almost finished taking down the prison. Only a few bars left. That’s right, I was in here with nothing but my own thoughts… and this has been a downfall. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not an idiot, I only act like it. I would’ve lost to Christopher America if I was stuck in here or not.
The point is, when you’re alone in your own head and IT’S ALL YOU CAN FUCKING DO, I fixated on America so much, I can’t let him go.
It’s not the process of the prison that failed me. It’s the aftermath.
It’s the present.
Maybe if Conor Fuse didn’t reside in the underbelly of the Dearness Living Community, perhaps he could’ve moved on rather easily from March to Glory. Ya know, dive into Bobbienette’s- AMEN Nettie’s current game and see what she’s up to. Oh, Zion could use a hand. You know, I’ve never really teamed with him on the serious side of things and I’ve always wanted to.
The possibilities are endless. They would’ve been EXCITING possibilities had I not subjected myself to a nothingness… a void… an insanity…
I ENJOYED to the fullest.
A win or a loss, it would’ve have mattered. Conor Fuse finds a new level, a new villain, a new hook to sink my teeth into.
It all sounds wonderful. Gamer excitement. “WTF comes next, Fuse!?” I’d say to myself as I march down the abyss.
“I don’t know, Conor, but it’ll sure be lots of pop’n’fresh fun!” I’d reply.
The old me. The annoying me. The one who never STFUs and has his ADHD motor going going going-
Thanks to this cell, after my loss to Christopher America, I am dead inside. Absolutely dead. Haven’t woken up. Not sure I will. Not sure I want to.
I sulk against the cement wall, the area I was used to sitting in, staring into the structure that engulfed me.
“Well,” I say, giving my shoulders a shrug as I glance up at my Game Boy. “Now what?”
I can leave, walk up those basement stairs and go anywhere I want.
So let me ask you something…
Where the fuck is the fun in that?
— — — — —
Some would get bent outta shape when you lose another tag team match and your tag team partner is Scott Stevens. And your WarGames partner is Scott Stevens. And your World Championship hopes rest on Scott Stevens.
Dude, there’s nothing wrong with Scott Stevens. I don’t wanna drag the guy through the mud. We’ve been there, done that and honestly, Scott gives it 100%. It’s all you can ask. I’d be better off yelling at Scottywood who DOESN’T give 100% on a frequent basis.
I digress. It’s an easy place to mine, the Scott Stevens hole in the ground. You’re always gonna latch onto something of substance. Just tired of not being able to pick my own teammates.
“But wait, Conor, you picked last year’s WarGames team!” – some fucking n00b
I mean… kinda. That group still went through qualifying matches, then we merged with Clay’s team, then half of them went DOA. When I say pick my own teammates I mean specifically handpick a co-op with no strings attached. No mock draft, auction, or limitations. I’m free to choose whomever. Lee sees a guy he wants for the Best/Final Alliance and he goes out there and makes it happen. Because who, in their right fucking mind, would say “oh you know what Lee, no thank you. Imma go do my own thing while you continue to pile the odds against me.”
Fucksticks, that’s who.
If Mike speaks, everyone jumps. Conor Fuse should be the same, but ain’t. Even David Noble and I were thrown together when Jace was injured. Jace, Jatt and Mario, now there was the only group of guys I had somewhat of a say in… and it fell apart faster than CyberPunk 2077 or the initial release of Pokemon Violet and Scarlet.
Anyway, it’s moot. I don’t give AF, right? That’s why I’m sitting in my locker room, long after Chaos has ended and Stevens and I lost. Jace tried to tell me some shit, or something, I dunno, I wasn’t paying attention. Then I see Stevens take the pin and I’m kinda like whatevs.
Chalk up another tag team loss to the supposed tAg tEaM MaStEr.
Losses used to corrupt me… in a good way. If I can even use the word corruption. A loss would consume me. I’d ask myself questions. What did I do wrong? What can I do better?
I’d never point the finger. I would take ownership and responsibility for the loss and in the case of a tag team match… I’d blame me even if I wasn’t the one who got pinned.
Fuck that noise. This loss is on Scott Stevens.
Jace, too, for that matter.
WTF is wrong with Davidson? Why does he hate Stevens soooo much? Because Scott got into the Hall of Fame before he did? Why does any of this matter? Who cares who gets in when, where, or how. Who cares about any of this? Worry about YOU, Jace. Y. O. U.
It’s stupid. It doesn’t get talked about a year later. No fan, walking into MexicoWhatEverTheFuckArenaWe’reAt is saying to themselves “wow Stevens went into HOF before Jace. It weighs on my mind every week.”
Most fans don’t even remember Stevens is Hall of Fame.
Or a more personal example… no mark is walking into the arena and saying “man, Conor Fuse really came close to walking out the champion at last year’s event”.
You carry on and live in the present.
No person stays stuck in the fucking past more than the one the negative event happened to. I see it nonstop. Carry the baggage with you. Have the loss hover over your head forever. Let it affect your next match, your next feud, your next year.
The rest of your career.
It can go the other way, too. Hold on to that one relevant moment, when the rest of the game has moved on.
Scott Stevens doesn’t stop mumbling about beating Mike Best 400 years ago.
Off nights happen, The Son is not excluded.
But Stevens lets it guide him. As a result, he refuses to make changes because he thinks that one moment, outside all the others, is proof he did something right.
Crowds are not is sitting in the bleachers on Sunday, May 28th with the recollection about the Stevens miracle victory over MB.
Whatever. Done talking about it. It would be MOAR infuriating if I actually cared. Instead, I pack the rest of my stuff and toss it into my duffle bag. I used to have much more energy. I’d take a loss and it would destroy me, yet motivate me at the same time. You use what happens to you, regardless of positive or negative and you make the absolute best out of the experience.
Okay, easy there Conor The Therapist.
Regardless, I feel no anger towards Stevens, or Jace. No further retribution to seek against The Final Alliance, other than the SUV hijacking nonsense upon my return.
I didn’t even realize but I’ve already walked out of the arena by now. I’m in the VIP parking lot, trying to remember where I placed my rental. I’m an absent minded guy, clearly… not to this extreme, though. I’m absent minded but I pay attention to important details, like where I parked so I can GTF outta here.
Now how come I can’t remember what kind of car I drove?
I don’t even recall the colour.
Barely remember renting it.
I usually park far away. Yeah. Yeah, far away. I take my keys out and start clicking to hear the lock horn.
Not a sound.
I walk a little further. It’s not like the private parking lot is massive. The American Airlines Center talent parking is under the arena. Not too crazy of a location and sheltered away from the nonsensical shouting of fans.
I shouldn’t be distracted.
My plan should be to return to my hotel, watch wrestling tape on the recent tag team match and take notes for WarGames.
Or, if I was really feeling like a diversion, I’ll play Nintendo Switch and get to the important stuff the next morning.
I didn’t pack a video game system with me this week.
“WTF is wrong?” I mutter to myself, as I continue to look for my car. I decide it’s time to take the last step. Press the alarm button.
I stop, look around and place my hands on my hips.
Did I drive here?
I might be here all night.
— — — — —
World Championship: Christopher America (C) vs. Conor Fuse
March to Glory
March 12, 2023
I hear the ref’s hand slamming against the mat… and thousands and thousands of fans seemingly holding their breath, or believing the air has been sucked out of the arena.
I have it in me- to dig down deep and kick out from the Pledging Allegiance Elbow. It’s gonna be a tough one because we’re already at two, I heard the thump of the mat.
There’s a millisecond left.
I think I have it in me.
I fucking know.
Crowd goes batshit.
They are basically spoon feeding me a recharged life bar.
America is solid, though. He’s the best I’ve come across. He snatches my right arm and begins pulling at it for a submission. He won’t be rattled – I cannot break his laser match focus, nor was I expecting to-
Jesus tap dancing fuck, did my shoulder pop out AGAIN!? The mother fucker- I swear- god dammit- if I wasn’t in so much pain right now-
The crowd is trying to will me on. I think I can break free. Pretty confident I can get to those ropes.
I fucking know.
Because nothing stops me. Absolutely nothing. America will not succeed. I, Conor Fuse, The Vintage, The Video Game Kid, will prevail-
God dammit this SOB puts in a great lock-
I t h in k
…I’m starting to pass out.
I can feel the life, the energy being taken from me.
I’ve come this far.
There’s no god damn way I tap. He’s going to have to drag me to
The lights shine so bright when you’re face-up in them and you have two medics waving an additional flash in your face.
You don’t have to tell me what happened, it’s clear.
I passed out, Christopher America won and whatever trash happened post-match, well, my head hurts. Really fucking hurts.
One of the EMTs attempted to explain what happened. I can barely hear him.
Let me rephrase. I can hear him… if I want to. But something is different inside of me. This isn’t like Mike defeating me at Rumble at the Rock. I had a sadness. A bitterness. A real, hard, defeat.
Tonight, however, I can’t put my finger on it. But as I am lifted up, I slowly glance around the empty bleachers.
All this work for… nothing.
And nothing, right now, is how I am feeling.
No concern or worries. No anger or frustration. Not even a tear in my eyes. The other times I lost the World Title, tears flooded the ground beneath my feet, I ain’t gonna lie.
One of the EMTs asks me my name but I don’t bother to put any effort into replying.
I stand and walk out of the ring under my own power, I can hear the EMTs being concerned for me, racing after me. They ask me questions down the long winding entrance way, leaving the pitch. They’re uneasy about my appearance, both physically and mentally. They ask me if I need help. It’s strange… I don’t want to be rude. I should reply to them.
Yet my mouth doesn’t open.
Slowly but surely, I pop my shoulder back into its socket, likely making the first, albeit brief, facial expression since I awoke from my slumber. A short expression of pain before going back to a rather stoic demeanor.
America didn’t end my life bar.
I think he ended my life.
“Conor, we have to take you to the back for evaluations,” one of the EMTs say while leaning forward, directly into my face. Christ, I’d rather have bright light in my eyes, not this weird loser who thinks he’s a prominent doctor.
Again, I’d like to say something. It would be the nice, “Canadian” thing to do.
Ain’t saying shit, bro.
I just continue walking out of the field. Out of the pitch. Out of the event. Out of sight.
— — — — —
Here I am, back at WarGames, ready to continue our feud.
But what is left of it? I don’t really know, do you? Everyone is gunning for your title, but I’ve always wanted more than that.
Did I fail you at March to Glory? I believe I did. I had to beat you. This would’ve solidified us as blood rivals. A victory would ensure you’d be chasing me. Now, however, in my sad and present reality… we are chasing you.
Then you. Singular.
I am an anonymous voice in the crowd. Yes, you know who I am. You remember my name but it’s not at the front and center anymore. In order to be the face keeping you awake at night, I had to walk away with #97.
The months I spent “wasting away” in a prison, all for this potential moment. The moment of victory, when Conor Fuse can look at his High Octane Rogues’ Gallery and say…
He finally has his Joker.
I’ve wanted this forever, since the moment I entered the game. I wanted my 8-4 villain at the end of the hallway. A wrestler who wouldn’t run. He’d never back down. Never leave High Octane because he is THE staple of the organization.
It was you.
And all I had to do was win.
A tall task, yeah. But a task Conor Fuse has completed before. I should have done it.
I simply did not.
So what is left for me? An empty shell of a gamer, who stands without his villain.
Why couldn’t I get my series of main event matches with you? Why couldn’t we have been the next epic Mike vs. Max battle to death?
Well, it’s due to the fact I am the one to blame.
I did not live up to expectations. I withered away like a lame duck who’s on his way out of the last level or merely holding ground before others join the party.
Fuck the others. They couldn’t give you what I have to offer. For three years I have lived and breathed this organization with no intention to step away. I’ll study wrestling film on a road trip or vacation for god sake. I want to let this game consume me.
24/7. 365. Nonstop.
We could have done this forever.
Yes, I am not stupid. Ideally, I have another opportunity at WarGames. But there are so many new players in this wargame, it’s not the same. I need you to focus on me and not all of us collectively.
Call it arrogance. Ignorance. The fact of the matter is I have busted my ass for so long, searching for the one to fight in an ongoing battle, I thought I deserved this.
I needed to take from you. I’m not so sure I have the motivation to take from you in Mexico.
I’m sorry I let you down, Chris.
I guess I didn’t deserve my forever feud, after all.